Abandon
by Jillian Hunter, historical/paranormal (2001)
Sonnet, $6.50, ISBN 0-7434-1790-9


Jillian Hunter's latest, Abandon is still funny at places, but it has Rushed Job stamped all over it. At only 261 pages with large print fonts to boot, this book is more like fast food takeaway than a filling meal. It's pleasant, but I wouldn't remember it in a few weeks time.

Morwenna Halliwell is considered by the people of Abandon Island as some sort of magical witch. She can make rainbows appear in the sky and make rare flowers bloom in her presence. The locals also foresee her marrying the new master of Abandon. But the said new property owner, Anthony Hartsone, some Earl or the other, is not taking any of this nonsense. He will sell off the island where his brother died to somebody who would contribute greatly to his child reform campaigns. It's almost a done deal anyway. Sign here, shake hands, bye bye Abandon.

But Morwenna is not having any of this. Rally the troops - save Abandon from progress and change! But soon she is too busy trying to adjust to marriage to Tony, seeing to an annoying Bad Warlock in the island, dealing with True Love and Destiny, et cetera.

While Tony may be the trademark bemused-stumped-but-capable Hunter hero, Morwenna is more problematic as a heroine who seems to mistake "leadership ability" with "shriek at the top of my voice as I dash stupidly into problems way beyond my solo capabilities". In fact, more disappointing is how their antagonism is dealt in a cursory, dismissive way, and next thing I know, those two have abruptly shifted from sulking and bickering to lip-locking mode. Eh? But then again, if more time is spent exploring Morwenna and Tony's relationship, who has the time and space then to do all the many, many magical episodes our twosome soon embarks?

Abandon is cute and charming. But since it's rushed and rather choppy, it doesn't satisfy as much as it should. Maybe I should have taken the title at face value, and abandon all my expectations for a good read. After all, this book is funny romance-lite at best.

Rating: 75


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